Iowa schools, by state law, are supposed to start class during the week in which September 1st falls, but most obtain a waiver from the state and open their doors during the heat of mid-August. State Senator Paul McKinley, a Republican from Chariton, is questioning why the Department of Education grants those waivers, and he’s asking the Legislature’s Rules Review Committee to examine the issue. State Senator Mike Connolly, a Democrat from Dubuque, says it’s a matter of state versus local control. Connolly says the Department of Education has decided the school start date is something that should be decided by each local school district, and not dictated by the state. Connolly says this issue may come up in the next legislative session. While some legislators are questioning why kids are going to school on such hot days, Connolly says the broader issue is an energy issue. Connolly says the legislature’s Rules Committee will meet September 9th to discuss the issue Connolly says Iowa is a “local control state” where school boards are given wide latitude to run their district’s affairs. State education officials say 350 of Iowa 370 school districts have gotten special permission to start early this year.
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